The Books I Read This Year (2021)

Dan Goslen
6 min readJan 2, 2022

Every year I try to take a short inventory of the books I read through that year. I find that doing so helps me solidify the concrete things I learned from each. You can see last year’s list too if you would like.

Let’s jump right in.

Dune by Frank Herbert

After hearing the hype about the upcoming movie and some positive reviews from friends, I decided to pick up this (almost) classic. I was surprisingly disappointed. While I really like the book’s premise and the environmental angle it took, I felt like the main character continues to be seemingly more powerful every second. It seems that nothing can stop him, and he doesn’t need help from others. New pieces of lore are invented on every page to explain how our hero continues to evade failure. To me, a great story requires some loss from our hero. I wouldn’t recommend the book personally.

Write Useful Books by Rob Fitzpatrick

I haven’t technically finished this book yet. The reason is that Write Useful Books is written much more like a guide through a process rather than something you read, think about, and apply. In particular, I like Rob’s push to involve potential readers as early as possible in the writing process — something the Agile-ists would appreciate. So far, I’ve found it really helpful on the book I’m working on :)

p.s. — Speaking of which, if you want to learn more about the book I’m working on — Follow Me on Gumroad (or here on Medium) and you’ll be the first to know about updates as they come!

The Book on Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner

Brandon Turner has become the modern real estate investing guru. Being a part of BiggerPockets, he has built a fantastic platform for himself. The book itself is straightforward and extremely helpful. I’d eventually like to get into the real estate game (besides my own home), to which this book was a great primer. The top takeaways from Brandon to me were these: 1) you will run into issues to fix 2) you need to take action; it can be too easy to endlessly read and research. I also really appreciate Brandon’s take that not every investor has to do the same thing or follow the same plan. This is helpful to someone like me who takes a more cautious investment approach. I.e., I want to avoid the advice from some to fully leverage all of my cash to buy properties and have a…

Dan Goslen

Team Driven Developer | Jesus follower | husband | software engineer